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FIBS Convention3 brings together international baseball and softball ambassadors

Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) in association with the Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) have worked diligently to make Convention3 (CON3) the finest baseball and softball gathering in Europe. Held at the ultra-modern PalaRiccione Conference Center in the seaside resort town of Riccione (Emilia Romagna) from January 26-28, 2018, CON3 unites what would be the 33rd Annual Coach Convention, the 14th Annual Umpire Convention, and the 12th Annual Scorer Convention under one roof. Headlined by guest of honor and keynote speaker Bobby Valentine, who also serves as an IABF board member, CON3 has attracted some of the best baseball and softball ambassadors to Italy's Adriatic Coast. Craig Montvidas, who recently was named manager of Specchiasol Bussolengo--where he once coached nearly three decades ago, returns to Italy to work with players and coaches inside the CON3 on-site indoor training facility. In addition, he will conduct seminars on the technical and mental aspects of the game as well as on charting and scouting. Montvidas, the former Netherlands Women's National Softball Team manager, will remain in Italy to lend his expertise to Specchiasol Bussolengo as the replacement for current Team Italy manager Enrico Obletter, who led the charge behind undefeated European Women's Premiere Cup champion Bussolengo in August 2017. Azzurri manager Obletter continues to fuel the fire for Team Italy in its effort to be the lone European representative to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Susie Parra alla Arizona Softball Foundation (ASF)Another softball sensation returning to Italy for CON3 is Susie Parra, who is in charge of the entire softball component of Convention3. She will conduct seminars on teaching and developing exercises for pitchers to increase their speed and velocity as well as ways to help a pitcher’s use of the fastball and curveball. Of special interest to many will be her presentation for coaches of athletes under 12. Susie Parra first came to Italy as a player for Robuschi Parma in 1997 and has since returned to Europe as a coach, instructor and trainer at various softball clinics and conventions. The three-time All-American and USA gold medalist in the 1994 World Cup is in demand to appear internationally. Robert Bob StantonBack by special request for the second consecutive year is Canadian-born Softball Hall of Famer Bob Stanton. The highly-acclaimed 2015 Softball World Championship Umpire-in-Chief oversees a series of workshops examining the new changes to softball rules and regulations in addition to a talk about the pitcher's strike zone. Undoubtedly, Stanton's Q & A session with CON3 participants will be one of the many highlights of the epic gathering of international coaches, umpires, scorers. doctors, trainers, and exhibitors. It is expected that these cutting-edge seminars will help everyone. L'arbitro giapponese Takeshi Hirabayashi in azione (The Virginian Pilot)

Another much anticipated attraction making his return to Italy after working as an instructor in the 2012 IBAF Umpire Clinic is Japan’s Takeshi Hirabayashi. Making his way up the ranks through Nippon Professional Baseball and Minor League Baseball, umpire Hirabayashi has worked several MLB Spring Training games in recent years. He will present seminars on the Slide Rule and Collisions at Home Plate. An elite lineup of Italian officials will also be represented at CON3. CNA President Pierfranco Leone will address participants during the Convention3 closing ceremony. Alessia Cicconi presents seminars on Defensive Interference and Obstruction. Sergio Radice hosts a talk on Interference by the public, players, coaches and officials as well as a workshop on Check Swings. Andrea Caser will conduct an examination of Runner's and Hitter's Interference. Other important topics will be discussed by an all-star cast of Italian officials including Lorenzo Menicucci, Gianluca Magnani, Mauro Fiorini, Marco Screti, Gian Paolo Pelosi, Fabio Capitoni, and Stefano Russi during CON3

Il logo della Convention3 2018 in versione orizzontale (MM Comunicazione)In what will surely be an event not to be missed at one central location on Italy's beautiful Adriatic Coast, Convention3 promises to be Europe's premier baseball and softball destination. With a plethora of speakers, trainings and clinics offered throughout the weekend, there is something for everybody at CON3. Participants will meet and discuss strategies for better results in their respective baseball and softball programs. Registration fees include admission to the awards ceremony, a buffet dinner and a souvenir CON3 grab bag filled with goodies. By emailing convention2018@fibs.it and submitting an on-line registration form prior to the event, participants will only pay 40 euros. Alternatively, a 50 euro fee can be paid in cash beginning January 26, 2018 at 9:30 am at the CON3 registration desk on the first floor of PalaRiccione. #2020Olympics #LetsMakeItHappen

by Roberto Angotti